John received a box of kinetic sand last year from his generous godfather who neglects to read the age-appropriate labels on toys (we love you godfather! we just wait to play with your presents) =) Anyway, we waited to bring out this exciting gift until recently. The kids can play with it in a fairly appropriate manner without sand getting all over my house. If you aren’t familiar with kinetic sand, it is actually a pretty cool toy. Basically, it is fancy sand that sticks to itself like wet sand without all the negative qualities of wet sand. It is not actually wet and it doesn’t stick to anything except itself. It is perfect for molding, sculpting and squeezing. Excellent for inquisitive hands and growing minds and apparently moms who need a minute…or 15.
It is also, surprisingly, an effective, addictive and unintentional meditative tool. The box of sand is currently sitting on my kitchen counter and nearly every time I walk past it, I can’t help but reach out and run my fingers through it. The sand is soft and squishy, light and airy. It initially feels like wet sand but then floats off my fingers like I would imagine a cloud would feel. This sand is irresistible, I can’t help myself.
The other day I was in the kitchen and was running my hands through the sand. My mind was wandering, thinking about how cool this toy was and how much potential it has for creativity and expression. It was a very zen-like experience.
I was holding Clare at the time and starting thinking about how shapeless she is right now, like the sand. She has the potential to become anyone and do anything. All of my kids really are still in this fairly shapeless, formless state. They don’t have life-determining habits and are slowly figuring out their personalities and character traits. They can mold themselves into any number of persons. Or, more along the path I was thinking about, they are able to allow themselves to be molded into the person God designed them to be.
We all start like this, clay in the hands of the potter, kinetic sand in the hands of the child. The world started like this – a formless void that was without order until God spoke. God’s creative word brought form to the formless and order to the chaos. He will do the same to the lives of my children if they let Him. It is my job as their parent to help them realize God’s presence in their lives and to recognize the gifts He has given them.
One of the most special things I get to do as a mother is pray for my children. Something that has hugely influenced my parental prayer is the example of my own parents and how they prayed for me. I always had a nurturing spirit and my mom had a feeling God’s will was for me to become a wife and mother. So she started praying for my future spouse. How incredible is that?!? She was praying for Ben before she knew him. She didn’t know where he lived, who he was, what kind of child he was or what kind of man he would become. She prayed for him for years – she has been praying for him longer than she has actually known him. I can’t think of a more precious gift to give one’s son or daughter-in-law.
I don’t know what God’s plans are for my children. Perhaps they will be called to marriage. Perhaps John will be called to be a priest or brother. Maybe Rosie or Clare will have a religious vocation or be called to live a single life. Whatever God’s call, I want to be able to give them the gift of my prayers to help support and sustain them in their vocation in life.
To summarize this little post – kinetic sand is awesome. If you feel like you can’t get yourself into a zone to do some serious thinking, you should probably get some. If you need to find a way to turn off your brain for a few minutes, you should probably get some. I’m not saying that kinetic sand is going to solve the world’s problems, but I’m definitely keeping it on the counter, just in case.